[Windows] Delete locked or “in use” files with Reboot Delete File Ex

Reboot Delete File Ex UIEvery once in a while it’s possible for your system to get out of hand. What I mean by that is, sometimes when you’re trying to access or delete a file the system will return an error that the related file has been locked. I’m sure you’ve seen the message before: “The source or destination file may be in use.” There are more than a few reasons why this message would appear, namely because a running app is using the file. The measure is in place to prevent you from deleting content that it’s currently in use, thus hurting intensive apps or the system in some way. Unfortunately, sometimes it’s possible for the system to poorly determine a file as being in use, or locked. I’ve encountered times where the file was clearly not in use any longer, but the system still locked the file. Reboot Delete File Ex is a Windows application that allows you to deal with such a problem, or more specifically remove locked files during the next reboot.

What is it and what does it do

Main Functionality

Every once in a while it’s possible for your system to get out of hand. What I mean by that is, sometimes when you’re trying to access or delete a file the system will return an error that the related file has been locked. I’m sure you’ve seen the message before: “The source or destination file may be in use.” There are more than a few reasons why this message would appear, namely because a running app is using the file. The measure is in place to prevent you from deleting content that it’s currently in use, thus hurting intensive apps or the system in some way. Unfortunately, sometimes it’s possible for the system to poorly determine a file as being in use, or locked. I’ve encountered times where the file was clearly not in use any longer, but the system still locked the file. Reboot Delete File Ex is a Windows application that allows you to deal with such a problem, or more specifically remove locked files during the next reboot.

Pros

  • Extremely simple application to delete system locked files, specifically those labeled as “in use”
  • Just choose the file and press the “delete” dialogue button and that’s it
  • The affected file will be removed from the system after the next reboot

Cons

  • Could potentially harm your OS install or app installs if you’re not careful
  • There’s no dialogue indicating a file has been removed after a reboot

Discussion

Action cannot be completed file in useIf you’ve never seen the “in use” error message I mentioned above, it looks exactly like this (pictured on the right). It’s basically a quick little message alerting you that the file is currently open and in use by a running program. Of course, it’s possible for the lock to happen with files that are not in use. Some apps may permanently or temporarily maintain the lock even after they’ve been long closed. Other times the notification can appear just because a system file has been protected. There are even more error messages that can appear, besides the one pictured above.

Regardless of what’s going on and why you’re doing it, sometimes it’s necessary to remove such a file from your system. Reboot Delete File Ex will allow you release affected files from the lock, and thus schedule them for removal after a system reboot. The reason the reboot is required, is because it allows the system to truly release the file from the imposed lock.

There are other applications out there that will handle this operation, but a reboot is always recommended before deleting any locked files. Simply unlocking a file and then deleting it all in one go can cause detrimental harm to your system in some cases. Delete File Ex offers a safer way to handle the operation, well as safe as you can be about it anyway.

Reboot Delete File EX chosenWhen the interface appears there’s only one dialogue option, and that’s the prompt to select the offending file. You use a Windows Explorer pop-up to select the locked file you’d like to delete, and then press a single “delete file” button. A confirmation message will appear telling you that the file is scheduled for removal, and will go away after the next system reboot. That’s all there is to it because the app is very straight to the point!

After the system has been rebooted, the file will indeed be removed. The one thing that would be nice to see is a follow-up message that lets you know the file has indeed been removed from your system. After a reboot nothing happens, so you have to manually check if the file is still around or not. In my case, the application was successful in removing the restricted files.

With an app like this it’s hardly necessary to mention the resource usage stats since it’s lightweight and it’s not an app you will be running continuously.

Conclusion and download link

Reboot Delete File Ex markedReboot Delete File Ex is a very simple yet useful application that will allow you to remove system locked files after a reboot. There are many different error messages and reasons why a file would be locked and labeled as “in use” by the system. Regardless of what the reason for being locked is, sometimes it’s necessary to remove the affected file. This application will do that quickly and efficiently. Of course, one needs to be careful when messing with locked files, because it’s possible to do harm to your OS install with a wrong move.

Price: Free

Version reviewed: 1.0

Supported OS: Windows 8/7/Vista/XP

Download size: 780KB

VirusTotal malware scan results: 0/46

Is it portable? No

Reboot Delete File Ex Homepage

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11 comments

  1. garrydam

    Nice post.Another software alternative that works is “LongPathTool” for error messages: Cannot read from source file or disk, there has been a sharing violation, cannot delete file or folder, the file name you specified is not valid or too long, the source or destination file may be in use and many other file managing errors.

  2. HROCH

    To EMRYS -When you install programs generally pay attention to what hitting. At the end of the installation IObit Unlocker appears 2x requests and offers to install the IO bit Toolbar, etc. SKIP this, then once more to complete the installation.!!

  3. JonE

    Never heard of IObit Unlocker, but then I tend to distrust anything IObit.

    And I agree about Anvir Task Manager, solid software, but I just haven’t had the time to learn all the things it can do, but now that I’m thinkin bout it I really need to install Anvir Task Manager on my wife’s computer; she’s always downloading crap – it’s hard to keep up with.”

    I also use a program named “Unlocker” but it’s developed by “Cedrick Collumb”; it does what it says, it unlocks locked files and does so with or without a reboot.

    But, I can see where having this in the toolbox might come in handy; I’ll give it a go.

  4. Mike

    While this software seems nice, I use my AnVir Task Manager for this (along with the other many uses for the software, including as memory cleaner, bulldog watching over and protecting my system from unwanted changes, System Tray information icons, etc.).

    I just checked, and a free promo on Anvir Task Manager Standard edition the past few months has been renewed, again, for September. Here’s the info. for it as well as a direct link (note: you need to put a 5-6 sentence description of the software on your Facebook page or in a blog, very easy to do–presumably, the dotTech.org forum would count!)–highly recommended.

    http://dottech.org/forums/freeware-software/free-anvir-task-manager-standard-edition-thru-end-of-july-2013/

    http://www.anvir.com/promo.htm